10 years ago

Egger Extension: Plans for a major expansion at the Egger UK chipboard factory in Hexham were approved – to the dismay of objectors. The multi-million pound scheme concerned the building of a new timber processing plant on green belt land east of the existing factory.

Flu Warning: Tynedale’s schools and GP practices were on red alert as swine flu took grip in the district. A total of 34 cases were reported by one of Hexham’s surgeries alone. A growing number of schools, nurseries and businesses advised pupils and staff to stay at home because they were exhibiting the symptoms.

Garden Gone: One of Tynedale’s top tourist attractions, the Chesters Walled Garden at Chollerford, was uprooted by its multi-millionaire landlord. Susie White, who spent almost a quarter of a century transforming the woebegone wilderness into a national treasure, was given a notice to quit. The land owner, Graham Wylie, planned to incorporate the garden into private grounds.

Chef Visit: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay paid a visit to the splendours of Haltwhitle’s Milecastle Inn. Customers suggested he had visited the town to see the scarecrow figure of himself that was created for Haltwhistle Carnival’s scarecrow contest.

25 years ago

Road Approved: Haltwhistle’s long-awaited A69 bypass was given the go-ahead by two Government ministers. A public enquiry was held for the £11.7million project to the south of the town, which was expected to create 100 new jobs.

Council Future: A high powered Government commission was sent up to Northumberland by Whitehall to see if the present system of county and district councils should be scrapped in favour of a unitary authority. The change would effectively trigger the demise of Tynedale council.

Delayed Decision: Tynedale council was dragging its feet over the pedestrianisation of Fore Street, in Hexham, it was claimed by Hexham Town Council. Tynedale council said a decision on a traffic-free zone could only be made after public consultation.

Huge Milestone: The Hexham Courant celebrated a significant milestone in its 130-year history when it produced its 7,000th issue. The newspaper’s inaugural edition was published on August 8, 1864, containing just one column of local news in its eight pages.

50 years ago

Rock On: The people of Hexham gave over 750 sticks of rock to television compere Bob Monkhouse’s bid to raise 10,000 sticks of rock for under-privileged children in Newcastle.

John’s Goodbye: The headteacher of Humshaugh CE Primary School, John Bowman, retired after 22 years in the job. He was presented with a typewriter, a shooting stick and a set of gardening tools. His wife was given a handbag.

Trip Record: A record number of more than 300 old people went on the annual outing of the Haltwhistle trip and Treat fund to Seaburn. Because of the size of the party, fund secretary A. Thompson had to order nine buses.

75 years ago

Robb’s Extend: William Robb and Son, of Hexham, bought the premises on Fore Street previously occupied by Murray’s the grocers, to extend their existing shop.

Welcome News: A letter received by Mr and Mrs Arthur March in Stocksfield from their son, Thomas, was the first sign that mail was getting through to Japanese prisoners of war. He wrote that he was fit and well, and glad to have received letters from home.

100 years ago

Class Controversy: “Who are the middle class?” asked the Hexham Courant in 1919. Captain Stanley Abbot, general secretary of the Middle Classes Union, supplied the answer, saying that the middle class were people not concerned with social distinctions or religious differences.

125 years ago

Tyne Thieves: A young man had money stolen from his clothes while he bathed in the River Tyne at Hexham. Henry Watson had £2 16s. stolen but three lads were later arrested for the crime, and were bailed to appear at the petty sessions.

Smart Play: A Hexham woman won the Welsh ladies’ tennis championships in Penarth. Miss H. Jackson won 80 guineas and the championship trophy.

150 years ago

Fungi Found: A farmer on his way to Haltwhistle discovered a “monument rare and attractive” – a mushroom measuring the extraordinary circumference of 28 inches, weighing 12 and a half ounces.

House Fire: A farm house near Slaley was destroyed by a fire. The building had a thatched roof, and a strong wind blowing at the time didn’t help the extinguishing efforts. A strong force of neighbours helped remove all the furniture from the house.